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Artist Bios

American Festival for the Arts
The Best Little Klezmer Band in Texas
Bobby Lyle Trio
Blue Steel Drum Ensemble
Brookwood Community Handbell Choir
Cristian Macelaru
Gay Men's Chorus of Houston
Greenbriar Consortium
Guitar Houston
Houston Brass Band
Houston Symphonic Band
Jack Saunders
Joy of Djembe Drumming
Kaminari Taiko
Keyun & The Zydeco Masters
KTSU Jazz Quartet Featuring Horace Alexander Young
Mariachi MECA
Milton Hopkins & The Hit City Blues Band
Moran Katz
Music Doing Good
Percussion One
River Oaks Chamber Orchestra Brass Quintet
Robert Franz
Sugar Hill Recording Studios
Texas Brass Band
Tricia Fox and Ray Younkin
The Wheel Workers
Windsor Village United Methodist Church Mass Choir

American Festival for the Arts (AFA) offers Houston’s finest music education programs for youth, assembles renowned faculty with a passion for teaching, offers challenging curricula that enhance student skills, and provides performance opportunities that benefit our students and our community. Our approach makes musical development and accomplishment a vehicle for learning and personal growth — growth that impacts every area of our students’ lives.

Described as “an essential part of Houston’s summer music activities”, AFA’s signature program, the AFA Summer Music Conservatory,enrolls 300 fourth through twelfth grade students from 100+ elementary, middle and senior high schools throughout Southeast Texas. Offering full-day programs ranging in length from two to five weeks, AFA offers programs for instrumentalists, vocalists, pianists and composers.

Launched in 2010, AFA’s Year-Round Programs offer training for instrumentalists, vocalists and composers throughout the school year. In addition to programs at AFA’s downtown offices, AFA hosts Community Partnerships and outreach concerts throughout greater Houston. Working in collaboration with Da Camera of Houston’s Young Artist Program, Houston Grand Opera’s HGOco, Houston Ballet’s Ben Stevenson Academy, Aurora Picture Show and our many arts partners, these programs take place during school, after school and on weekends all year long.

Ensuring that students have access to AFA programs regardless of their ability to pay, AFA’s Scholarship Enrichment Fund has kept pace with an increasing annual demand. In our 2011-12 season, almost 69% of AFA’s students received need-based tuition assistance.  Financial hardship has never been, and will never be, a barrier to attending AFA.

Watch a video about AFA.

The Best Little Klezmer Band in Texas brings the old world to life by reviving Yiddish music from the old country and America's immigrant generation. The band infuses its spirited performances of Jewish folk songs and traditional wedding dances, haunting, lyric melodies of East European Jews, fiery virtuosic Gypsy showpieces, and dazzling theater music with an electrifying world-beat that challenges audience members to remain in their seats. The ensemble carries Klezmer’s itinerant, idea-gathering spirit with them to bear on their music, which can be raucous, hypnotic, reverent and dizzying, sometimes all in one quick-changing piece.

The Best Little Klezmer Band in Texas, created in 1993 as a non-profit foundation under the direction of Marcia Sterling and Dan Strba, is dedicated to the presentation, preservation and revitalization of Yiddish culture through live performance. The Klezmers continue delighting sold-out audiences coast to coast while maintaining a busy schedule at home where they perform for communityevents, educational young peoples programming, and multi-medial productions addressing Klezmer’s poignant history.

The band’s album, Schleppin’ West has received critical acclaim for its "…enchanting musical renderings as clever as they are invigorating," and "the Texas spin making new inroads on Jewish swing."

Bobby Lyle, one of the most versatile keyboardists on the music scene, continues to evolve his artistry. In a career that has spanned more than three decades, Lyle has established himself as a composer, bandleader, producer, arranger, musical director, music publisher, jazz educator, recording artist and world class live performer.

Audiences at home and abroad have been mesmerized by his melodic compositions and dazzling piano technique. He has been musical director for Al Jarreau, Bette Midler, the late Phyllis Hyman and Anita Baker. He also toured with such stellar musicians as Wayne Henderson and the Jazz Crusaders, Gerald Albright, Ronnie Laws and George Benson before settling permanently into leading his own bands in the ‘90s.

His discography includes 3 albums for Capitol, 6 for Atlantic Jazz, 3 for Three Keys, 1 for Heads Up and his latest project, a tribute to the late Jimmy Smith done entirely on the Hammond B-3 organ—a first for Bobby. This music will be featured on the July 13th music day festival at Jones Hall. Lyle received an Emmy nomination for his musical direction on the HBO special “Diva Las Vegas” with Bette Midler in 1997.

  Blue Steel is in its inaugural year under the direction of Mr. Lamar Burkhalter. Aldine ISD has graciously provided the instruments to get them started. Blue Steel is made up of students age 13-18 in grades 9-12. They have performed at a few concerts this year including being the feature ensemble for Aldine ISD’s Children's contest this past April. They are performing at the Day of Music on July 13th at Jones Hall, and are looking forward to many future performances this coming fall.

  Brookwood Community Handbell Choir is a God-centered, educational community, where adults with disabilities have meaningful jobs and live life abundantly…without government funding. Our choir is composed of 16 citizens who have mastered playing music with colored scrolls and a set of three octave handbells. This system was adapted from the Handbell Musicians of America under the leadership of world renowned pianist, Linda McKechnie, in 2007.  Directed by Joyce Henderson, Brookwood’s Handbell Choir practices weekly,learning songs that include folk and worship as well as arranged music from noted handbell artists. 

Watch a video of BCHC here.

Cristian Macelaru has established an exciting and highly regarded presence through his thoughtful interpretations, poise and energetic conviction on the podium. Associate Conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Macelaru began his tenure at the Philadelphia Orchestra as Assistant Conductor in September 2011; in recognition of his artistic contributions to the orchestra, his title was elevated to Associate Conductor in November 2012. In addition to continuing to assist Yannick Nézet-Séguin and leading several non-subscription performances, Macelaru will conduct his own subscription week in the 2013-14 season, after having stepped in on an unexpected subscription debut in April 2013 in place of Jaap van Zweden.

Macelaru recently made two overwhelmingly successful appearances with the Chicago Symphony on subscription programs two seasons in a row as a replacement for Pierre Boulez. The first was in February 2012 and the subsequent was in March 2013, with the Chicago Sun-Times exclaiming: “Macelaru is the real thing, displaying confidence without arrogance and offering expressiveness without excess Macelaru’s 2012/13 season started with his Carnegie Hall debut and a return to Chicago’s Orchestra Hall in October both at the invitation of the Solti Foundation, conducting a work on the Solti World Orchestra for Peace program shared alongside Valery Gergiev in celebration of the centennial of Solti’s birth. The 2012-13 season continued with highly anticipated debuts with the Atlanta Symphony, Orchestre Métropolitain, Florida Orchestra and Alabama Symphony, plus returns to the Baltimore Symphony and Chicago Symphony.

Macelaru’s 2013-14 season will commence with summer performances with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Mann Center, Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Longwood Gardens and the Bravo! Vail Valley Festival. In addition to his subscription week in Philadelphia, the main season will include Macelaru’s subscription debut with the National Symphony Orchestra with Anne-Sophie Mutter as soloist, a return to the Chicago Symphony, and appearances with the San Antonio Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, Naples Philharmonic and Florida Orchestra. He also returns to his home country to lead the National Radio Orchestra of Romania in performances of Mozart’s Requiem.

Last year Macelaru received the 2012 Sir George Solti Emerging Conductor Award, a prestigious honor only awarded once before in the foundation’s history. His main studies were with Larry Rachleff at Rice University, where he received his Master of Music degree in conducting as well as a Masters in violin performance. He completed undergraduate studies in violin performance at the University of Miami.

Clandestine is hard-driving, toe-tapping Texas Celtic sound. Formed in 1991, the band is known for their brand of blasting tune sets and fresh songs. Piper EJ Jones and fiddler Gregory McQueen lead the tunes with the full force of their individual musical energies. Al Cofrin brings cittern and occasionally another set of bagpipes to the mix. Percussionist and singer Emily Dugas captivates with her original song collaborations with Al, as well as her singular interpretations of songs in the Celtic genre. EJ and Al also join Emily on vocals, with many songs now set in three-part harmony.

Clandestine is a regular feature at the Texas Scottish Festival and the North Texas Irish Festival, as well as their home pub, McGonigel’s Mucky Duck in Houston. The band has toured the US extensively and had successful stints in Canada and France. Now, Clandestine is poised to tour widely again.

The Conrad Johnson Orchestra (formally known as the Conrad O. Johnson Big Band) was formed in the mid 1960’s. The band is composed of over 20 professional musicians who have been playing together for more than 30 years.  The late Conrad Johnson’s music style has contributed to the city’s deep musical heritage that still shapes and influences the Houston Big Band Jazz sound today.

The Conrad Johnson Orchestra has several recordings with the most recent being, “Got What It Takes”.  Now the Orchestra’s performance repertoire includes more than 50 original charts and arrangements by Conrad Johnson and at least 6 arrangements from the Duke Ellington Sacred Series.  This series is basically for church audiences and performances have been made in various churches throughout the Houston area, with and without vocals.

The compilation or synthesis of down-home Texas blues and sophisticated jazz remains to be the trade mark of Conrad “Prof” Johnson’s legacy.  Prof’s Orchestra’s has performed with various musical greats, such as Joe Sample, Ronnie Laws, Hubert Laws, Kirk Whalum, Evert Harp, Wynton Marsalis, Steve Turre, Shelley Carroll and the late Lou Rawls and Roy Hamilton just to name a few.

Currently, the Conrad Johnson Orchestra is being directed by James Williams, Jr.  James has been an artist for over 4 decades and has traveled and performed with various big bands and other major artists.  In abiding with the vision and spirit of the Conrad “Prof” Johnson music legacy, the orchestra provides grand entertainment and professional sound beyond measure for any event or occasion.

Throughout the years, the Big Band has performed with various musical greats that include such artists as, Joe Sample, Ronnie and Hubert Laws, Kirk Whalum, Everette Harp, Wynton Marsalis, Steve Turre, Shelley Carroll, the late Lou Rawls and Roy Hamilton, just to name a few.

Bayou City Performing Arts (BCPA) was founded as the Montrose Singers, Inc. in November of 1979. Led by founding director Andy Mills, the Houston based men's chorus met with early successes marked by lavish productions at the Tower Theatre, performing with as many as 80 singing members. The BCPA family of choruses has expanded to include Gay Men's Chorus of Houston (GMCH), Bayou City Women's Chorus (BCWC), and Bayou City Chorale (BCC). 2012/2013 marks BCPA's 34th year of continuous performances.

BCPA has been termed "the best face of diversity in Houston". BCPA, widely
respected for community leadership in inclusion and diversity, continues to provide opportunities for a wide range of Houstonians, fulfilling its mission of excellence in music, coupled with unity and pride. Again in 2012, BCPA was named the Favorite Community Organization by OutSmart Magazine.

Under the direction of Artistic Director Kenneth Clayborne, BCPA is in its fourth decade of musical and artistic excellence. We have established working relationships with many Houston arts organizations as BCPA broadens its outreach.

Nearly all the esteemed performance arts venues in Houston have hosted BCPA performances.  Outside of Houston, BCPA has performed at Galveston’s Grand 1894 Opera House, Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, Ted Mann Concert Hall in Minneapolis, Place des Arts – Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier in Montreal, International Festival Institute at Round Top and Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami.

BCPA contributes to the choral community through newly commissioned music.  BCPA’s discography includes a number of recordings available in the lobby tonight.

Currently, the Conrad Johnson Orchestra is being directed by James Williams, Jr.  James has been an artist for over 4 decades and has traveled and performed with various big bands and other major artists.  In abiding with the vision and spirit of the Conrad “Prof” Johnson music legacy, the orchestra provides grand entertainment and professional sound beyond measure for any event or occasion.

Throughout the years, the Big Band has performed with various musical greats that include such artists as, Joe Sample, Ronnie and Hubert Laws, Kirk Whalum, Everette Harp, Wynton Marsalis, Steve Turre, Shelley Carroll, the late Lou Rawls and Roy Hamilton, just to name a few.

The Greenbriar Consortium was formed in 1994 by Houston Symphony musicians. The mission of the ensemble has been to present the highest quality chamber music to the greater Houston area cost free to the audience. It is a unique concept in Houston. Our players include members of the Houston music community, singers, actors, dancers,composers and poets. Concerts are always built around themes and designed to be stimulating and often interactive with our audience.

The vision of Guitar Houston is to bring together people that love classical guitar and its historical relatives such as the lute and the early romantic guitar in a friendly environment that supports amateur and professional players. Guitar Houston sponsors concerts and master-classes of well known guitarists.

In addition Guitar Houston supports worthy and talented developing artists at the beginning of their careers through free concerts and community outreach programs. Our monthly public meetings feature lectures, live performances, and activities for players of various interests and skill level and a social hour. Guitar Houston is a non-profit organization open to all players and aficionados.

Why not call this a guitar society? Certainly one can think of Guitar Houston as a guitar society, however, the founders felt the word “society” is sometimes confused as meaning “exclusive” or “academic”. We want guitarists and music lovers to have fun, learn about the guitar, hear it performed and have a chance to perform in a non-threatening environment.

Guitar Houston provides the greater Houston area with cultural enrichment. Members benefit from opportunities to perform, learn from each other and share ideas. The community benefits include fine arts cultural education, and our outreach program which included volunteer performances at nursing homes, schools, and other public forums.

  The Houston Blues Museum (HBM) is a grassroots effort by local blues artists and blues enthusiasts to establish a permanent home to commemorate and display various artifacts and memorabilia namely of Houston and Texas Gulf Coast Blues musicians.  The collection includes artifacts to educate others about the cultural impact the blues and blues musicians have had on Houston and the Gulf Coast. HBM’s mission is to honor Houston and Gulf Coast blues artists and their music; preserve The Blues, a great American treasure; educate museum visitors about the Blues, its origin, its artists, and its distinctiveness; and perpetuate Blues history, culture, and an appreciation of a true American art form.

The Houston Blues Museum is in the process of securing a permanent home to house our current artifacts and collections.  In the meantime please visit our website at to find out about upcoming HBM events.

  Founded in the year 2000, the Houston Brass Band seeks to be one of the region’s premier musical ensembles, sharing the unique spirit and beauty of British-style brass band music through concerts of the highest quality and educational outreach.

The British brass band tradition dates from the 1840s and 1850s when industrialization created a newly-urbanized working class with access to the mass-produced brass instruments. Large employers, like foundries or mills or mines, supported bands for the Victorian goal of “improving” the working classes, not to mention competing with each other. The goals may be different now, but the brass band movement has since spread world-wide.

The Houston Brass Band, the only British brass band in Southeast Texas, started as a group of friends and enthusiasts. Under the leadership of Houston Symphony trumpeter, Robert Walp, it has grown to draw members from among Houston’s professional performers, music educators, and talented amateurs. The Band now offers a full season of performances and educational opportunities to audiences throughout the region.

The Band performed to a sold-out crowd at Zilkha Hall in 2010, and has toured to cities throughout Texas. In addition to traditional brass band compositions, the Band’s performance repertoire includes orchestral transcriptions, film scores, and jazz. In pursuing its educational mission, the Band regularly holds “Brass Only Band Camps,” offering young musicians the opportunity to spend the weekend learning and performing with the professionals and educators in the Houston Brass Band.

  The Houston Symphonic Band, a proud member of the Hobby Center’s Uniquely Houston® program, co-sponsored by Lexus and United Airlines, is a collection of talented amateur, semi-professional and professional musicians who believe that making music is a life long endeavor. Meeting once a week year-round the band performs regularly in Houston, Texas and around the world.

The Sousa Foundation Sudler Silver Scroll Award winning band has performed numerous times at the Texas Bandmaster Association’s Convention and at the Texas Music Educator’s Association’s Convention.

On tour the group has played in Washington D.C., England, Ireland, The Netherlands, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and the People’s Republic of China. The band has participated in performances with the top British military bands at Kneller Hall in London, played a concert on the Great Wall of China, and was the first American band to perform with the Band of the People’s Republic of China in a joint concert.

The Houston Symphonic Band (HSB) provides adult musicians in the Houston area the opportunity to play and perform some of the finest band literature available. HSB also seeks to serve the community by bringing family oriented performing arts into the community, providing a high quality musical experience that is both accessible and of minimal cost.

Many of our players are applied music teachers, band directors, and performers but most are highly talented musicians who work as geologists, lawyers, housewives, computer engineers and dozens of other occupations. The common bond among the players is a shared love for making great music at the highest levels of sophistication.

There are no auditions for membership in the band. The playing ability of each of the players grows under this system, the capability of the ensemble continues to improve and we all learn from each other. The group rehearses once each week, year-around, at the Kinkaid School in the Memorial area of Houston, Texas. Concerts are given throughout the year at various locations and venues.

HSB takes pride in supporting music education and the educators who will foster the next generation of musicians and music lovers. Our directors, along with many of our other fine musicians, often provide clinics, workshops and other hands on assistance to local and regional schools. We also are building a collection of reference recordings available on CD of important band and wind ensemble literature including contest pieces and works suitable for skill development.

The Houston Symphonic Band is a not-for-profit organization as qualified by section 501 (c)(3) of the Federal Tax Code. Monetary and service donations are welcome and are tax-deductible.

  Jack Saunders grew up as a Navy brat in California, Rhode Island, Alaska, and many states in-between. When the British Invasion craze hit, he knew what he wanted to do with his life -make girls scream! Then one day a friend brought by a Bob Dylan record that steered him in a new direction focused on songwriting.

During his senior year in high school, Jack lived in a remote town in Alaska before moving to Dallas and subsequently Austin. This was the early '70s, and the Austin "cosmic cowboy" scene was in full swing. After awhile, a friend suggested that he move to Houston because there was a great music scene in the Montrose area, so he moved to Houston in 1976 and immediately found work playing his songs in local clubs, where he met Shake Russell, John Vandiver and many others. He played clubs like Anderson Fair, Theodore's, Corky's and the Texas Opry House, and joined an art rock band, Taxi Dancer.

Most of the '80s and half of the '90s Jack played with Shake Russell - first as a bassist in his band and then for 6 or 7 years as a duo mate and lead guitarist, sharing the writing and singing. As a duo, Shake and Jack were a fixture in the Texas music scene and beyond, releasing several CDs together. Recording all those albums, he learned about and fell in love with the art of recording.

In 1996, Jack opened White Cat Recording in Houston. Since then, he's split his time at the studio, performing solo or with a band, and has released four CDs of his own. He has also played in the bands of many of his favorite artists, such as Ray Wylie Hubbard, Greg Trooper, Randy Weeks, Susan Gibson and Hayes Carll, while at the same time producing and recording dozens of titles in his studio for other songwriters. 2012 found Jack releasing A Real Good Place To Start, which is an ironic title given his lengthy experience as a musician and songwriter.

2013 finds Jack Saunders with another new release, entitled Grit and Jangle, which showcases his rootsy approach on songs ranging from the alt-country whimsy of Mustache on the Mona Lisa, the jangly rock of the title track to the Zydeco dance groove on Acadian Angel. Grit and Jangle will release in early summer along with touring dates in support throughout the remainder of 2013.

  Joy of Djembe Drumming: We are a group of diverse individuals from the Greater Houston Area who came together to explore cultural world rhythms based around the drum, and then ultimately perform them as an ensemble. We comprised of 22 percussionist delivering ala natural sounds. We seek to imbue ourselves in these primitive, powerful, healing and expressive rhythms which stir the very soul and place us in a state of well-being. This is what we term J.O.D.D. (i.e. the Joy of Djembe Drumming). And our mission is to impart these positive vibrations to our audience.

  Kaminari Taiko is the premier taiko group in the Gulf South. The Houston-based Japanese drumming ensemble, founded in 1996, has collaborated with world-renowned artists, toured 20 major cities, and performed for hundreds of thousands of people in stage productions, at festivals, and at cultural events. Kaminari mesmerizes audiences with dynamic, high-energy performances that combine the traditional values of Japanese art with propulsive original rhythms. The musicians perform on an arsenal of over 30 handcrafted professional-quality drums.

Watch a video of Kaminari Taiko.

Keyun Dickson is from Humble,Texas & has been playing the accordion since the tender age of three. He is well known in Houston, Beaumont, Louisiana & surrounding areas for his love of zydeco music. Keyun was crowned the Accordion King by TX Folk Life, a non-profit organization in Austin,TX, and has achieved many other accomplishments including interviews with Ch:13KTRK, Ch11KHOU, 1430 AM & 92.1 FM. Keyun started his band Keyun & The Zydeco Masters in 2003 and has since been a rising star in today's music industry.

  The KTSU Jazz Ensemble featuring Horace Alexander Young: This foursome of Jazz veterans includes pianist Bob Henschen (Buddy Rich), drummer Carl Lott, Jr. (Lou Rawls, Gerald Wilson), bassist Glen Ackerman and is led by Pacific Coast Jazz recording artist, Horace Alexander Young (B.B.King, McCoy Tyner, Abdullah Ibrahim) on saxophone, flute and vocals. Mr. Young has appeared on some 80+ significant recordings with numerous artists in various genres and has performed in concerts and on tour in 19 countries and 45 US states.

  Multicultural Education and Counseling through the Arts (MECA) is a community-based nonprofit organization committed to the healthy development of underserved youth and adults through arts and cultural programming, academic excellence, support services and community building. The MECA mariachi program began in 1991 under the direction of Alfonso Guerra; the program began with a small ensemble that played a modest repertoire of three songs. Today, MECA's advanced mariachi ensemble, Mariachi MECA, is comprised of students who participate in MECA's After School Program and includes students from around HISD and neighboring school districts. Mariachi MECA has played for U.S. Presidents, received awards at national mariachi competitions, and has been invited to perform throughout the U.S., Mexico, Europe, and Asia. Through their many performances and cultural exchanges -in countries such as Northern Ireland, Vietnam, and Mexico- Mariachi MECA students have come to understand how the arts not only to celebrate culture, but how to understand how culture can positively bind a community together, knowledge their helps the students prepare for their own futures.

  Mercury: Twelve years ago, Antoine Plante, Jonathan Godfrey, Ana Trevino-Godfreyand Lori Muratta aspired to enchant and educate Houston audiences with a broad repertoire of music on period instruments. Gathered over pizza in Montrose, the four established Mercury Baroque, an intimate chamber ensemble. Today, that ensemble has blossomed into a chamber orchestra playing music from the Baroque era and beyond, reaching thousands across Houston and garnering critical acclaim around the world.

Through its innovative and accessible performances, domestic and international tours, and groundbreaking music education outreach programs, Mercury has redefined the role of music in the Houston community by emphasizing accessibility and education. Mercury performs over fifty concerts each year, including its flagship series at the Wortham Center, Cullen Theater, concerts in neighborhood venues across the city, and chamber music performances in more intimate settings.

Mercury is also dedicated to educating future audiences and training the city’s future musicians. The Orchestra’s educational outreach programs have reached more than 10,000 children in the past five years alone, fostering a love for classical music in our next generation, as well as providing them with a meaningful opportunity for personal growth. From its humble beginnings over pizza, Mercury is now firmly established as a musical icon of Houston’s vibrant culture. The Orchestra continues to reach out to new audiences with an approachable, fresh interpretation of classical music. We invite you to become a part of its legacy, and loyal patronage.

  Milton Hopkins is a native Houstonian and currently resides in the city that knows him best! However his master musicianship, humble demeanor and love for music has taken him numerous places over the many decades that he has graced the music stage to the delight of music fans everywhere. He got his start musically in 1949 with a neighborhood band led by Mr. Otis Turner called the Harlem Music Makers. In the 50’s Mr. Hopkins was a part of the house band at the famed Duke/ Peacock Records. During that time he toured with Little Richard, Johnny Ace, and Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton.

In 1956 through the early 60’s Mr. Hopkins, as a member of the Fabulous Upsetters, toured extensively with about everyone that was during something musically including Jackie Wilson, Sam Cooke, Stevie Wonder, Martha and the Vandellas, Bo Diddley, The Drifters, Dionne Warwick, The Five Royales, The Midnights, Patti LaBelle and the Blue Belles, and The Shirelles. Mr. Hopkins moved to San Francisco during the 60’s. While living there Mr. Hopkins toured with Marvin Gaye and Lou Rawls. During the 70’s Milton was B.B. King's rhythm guitarist and toured with him throughout the USA and overseas.

After many years on the West Coast, Mr. Hopkins returned to Houston in 1979. He later joined Julius Miller and The Untouchables and in 1982 he formed his own group, The Hit City Blues Band. In 1997 Mr. Hopkins was honored for his dedication and many contributions to the people and music of Houston at The Houston Blues Society’s Living Blues Bash.

Mr. Hopkins has received numerous accolades and awards including 2011 Jus’ Blues Music Foundation - Albert King Award and 2011 Summertime Blues Festival - Texas Blues Legend Award. His musical career has been highlighted in several music publications including, You Send Me The Life and Times of Sam Cooke, The Late Great Johnny Ace, The Arrival of B. B. King, and Down in Houston: Bayou City Blues. This past October he was the principal bandleader at Discovery Green’s Blues and Burgers tribute to the historical Duke/Peacock record label revue, which highlighted both the musicians and music of that bygone record dynasty.

Mr. Hopkins occasionally travels to perform in venues, this past year that included The Chicago Blues Festival and France. Nowadays, he can be seen most often at local venues including The House of Blues, Danton’s, most recently The Athens Lounge, and points beyond.

Milton has personally recorded Milton Hopkins’s Live at Danton’s and Milton Hopkins and Jewel Brown. The latter of which was nominated for the Best Traditional Blues Album at The Blues Foundation's 34th Annual Blues Music Awards which took place at the Cook Convention Center in downtown Memphis, Tennessee.

  Moran Katz, clarinet

First Prize winner of the 2009 Freiburg International Clarinet Competition (Germany), Clarinetist Moran Katz has performed with orchestras such as the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the China Philharmonic Orchestra, The Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Collegium Musicum Basel, the Albany Symphony, Brooklyn Philharmonic and Ensemble ACJW. Her recent performance credits include the “Les Musicales” Chamber Music Festival, Marlboro Music Festival, Roaring Hooves Festival in Mongolia, the Two Days and Two Nights of New Music Festival in the Ukraine, Lincoln Center, Miller Theater, and debut recitals at the Berlin Philharmonic Chamber Music Hall, New York’s Merkin Concert Hall and MoMA.

She has collaborated with the Ariel, Carmel, Contemporary, Tesla, Dover (Old City), Benaim and Vogler string quartets. Katz is a clarinetist for the internationally acclaimed new music ensemble "Continuum," a member of the cutting edge group "The Declassified" and a co-founder of the innovative "Shuffle Concert." She has recorded for Albany Records, Naxos, Tzadik and Innova labels and has premiered music by Mario Davidovsky, Roberto Sierra, Huang Ruo, Avner Dorman, Richard Wilson, Virko Baley, Joseph Bardanashvili and Jonathan Keren. After being admitted with presidential distinction and a full scholarship to The Juilliard School, Katz became a student of Charles Neidich and earned her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees as well as her Artist Diploma. As a Carnegie Hall Academy fellow, she performed chamber music at Carnegie Hall and brought classical music to students in the NYC public schools.

Established in 2011, Music Doing Good, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization whose mission is to inspire and transform lives through innovative, music-based programming. Music Doing Good engages, educates and enriches the community through carefully developed outreach programs and raises friends and funds through world-class concert events. This season, Music Doing Good will touch the lives of more than 10,000 individuals as the organization strives to create a world where we all live in concert.
  • Music Doing Good in Schools produces high quality, afterschool music education for students of Title I schools in Houston.
  • Music Doing Good with Instruments provides free, gently used instruments to underserved children and underfunded school districts.
  • Music Doing Good with Lyrics is a songwriting program that works with participants to document, record and share their life stories through song.
  • Music Doing Good in Concert is a unique multimedia performance series that raises friends and funds to extend the organization’s reach in the community.
  • Music Doing Good Scholarships grants awards to local students, ages 12-18, displaying financial need and exceptional musical talent to fund lessons and tuition.

For more information on our outreach programs or to make a tax-deductible donation, please visit us online at To view Music Doing Good’s Organizational Overview video, please visit

  Percussion One, Houston's premier drumline and percussion group, is comprised of high school students from the greater Houston area. Percussion One Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded by executive director Lamar Burkhalter.

This talented group has performed throughout Texas at many corporate and community events as well as on stage with the Keith Urban Band and Shania Twain. Locally, the group’s performance schedule has included corporate and community events, STOMP and Blue Man Group performance preludes at Jones Hall, and pre-game and half-time shows for the Houston Texans, Rockets, Astros, Aeros, and Texas Bowl events, and more. Internationally, the group performed a 10 day tour of Moscow Russia in 1997, and at the World Expo 2000 in Hanover, Germany.

Ray Younkin, Executive Producer and Core Artist, has been involved with the performance, production, composition, arrangement, business logistics of music for 18 years. As a guitarist and singer/songwriter, he has performed extensively both locally and nationally, having also released two CDs (1000 Years [1999] and Take Me Slow [2005]) with another nearing completion (Alone In Paradise [TBA]). Ray has appeared as a guest vocalist on numerous other artists’ projects and has coordinated a multitude of songwriter showcases featuring notable Kerrville alums Ronny Cox, Bill Ward, Karen Mal and Ken Gaines. He received a nomination for “Song Of The Year” at the 2006 Texas Music Awards and was a finalist in the “New Folk Songwriting Competition” at the 2007 Kerrville Folk Festival. In 2012, he won the award for best folk song.

Called "an inspiration and one of the most successful entrepreneurial projects in classical music," by American music critic and composer Greg Sandow, River Oaks Chamber Orchestra is a professional chamber orchestra founded in 2005 by principal oboist Alecia Lawyer. With a core of 40 local and national professional musicians, "ROCO" has made a name for itself in Houston and beyond as a chamber orchestra whose performances are "the most fun you can have with serious music." Our 2012-2013 season includes main concerts featuring internationally acclaimed guest artists, "family friendly" concerts that include childcare and a late-afternoon start time, chamber concerts with wine, art and music pairings, and of course, great music! ROCO regularly features chamber ensembles drawn from within the full 40-piece chamber orchestra. The ROCO Brass Quintet is one such group that has established its own fan following and a full season of performances in addition to ROCO main concerts. We invite you to get to know some of the most talented musicians in the world and to share in the musical jole e vivre that flows between musicians and audience at every ROCO concert. Listen to ROCO concerts rebroadcast nationally on American Public Media's Performance Today and locally on Classical 91.7 KUHA Radio. Better yet, come to a concert and see for yourself why ROCO is "the most fun you can have with serious music."

SugarHill Recording Studios
The oldest recording studio in Texas is nestled in a Southeast Houston neighborhood that over time has been home to legendary producers, record labels, and artists who've produced some of the most historically important and widely recognized musical recordings. Beginning in 1946, musician Harry Choates, with producer Bill Quinn, laid tracks for the Cajun classic "Jole Blon" for Gold Star Records. Blues icon Lightnin' Hopkins recorded soon thereafter. In the 1950's the studio hosted Pappy Dailey's D label, George Jones cut "Why Baby Why?" and the Big Bopper recorded "Chantilly Lace." Willie Nelson, Bobby Bland and Arnett Cobb recorded sessions. In 1960s, the Sir Douglas Quintet tracked "She's About a Mover." The mid-1970s introduced Crazy Cajun producer Huey P. Meaux and his work with Freddy Fender and Clifton Chenier. Since the 1980s, SugarHill has hosted Tejano artist Little Joe, country great Johnny Bush, and urban powerhouse Beyoncé.

Live From SugarHill

An free internet podcast which doubles as a promotional vehicle for artists who tour through Houston and includes HD video and audio recording. The shows are performed, mixed, broadcast, and filmed live, while an HD Video version remixed by SugarHill and edited by Zenfilm is released on iTunes, YouTube, Vimeo and more.


Entertaining music-loving ears and eyes of thousands with its contemporary, modern brass sound, choreographed routines, and overall high energy, high impact show, the Texas Brass Band has found its niche and is rapidly becoming a unique staple to the Houston, Texas music scene and abroad. The Texas Brass Band combines the influences of jazz, rhythm and blues, hip-hop, and soul music into one unique sound. When The Texas Brass Band was established, it became Houston's first contemporary brass band, and in many ways mirrored a tradition established over 100 years ago by New Orleans' Olympia Brass Band. Texas Brass is expected to play a similar role in Texas, but it is not the "traditional" brass band. They pay homage to the traditional New Orleans (second-line) style in many of their shows, but that doesn't define who the band is as a whole. "We are true to the spirit of our predecessors, but as music has evolved through 100+ years of varying influences, so has the music of The Texas Brass Band," says the founder William Thomas II. A Texas Brass show is dynamic, vibrant, and in every sense completely fulfills the definition of true musical entertainment intertwined with a healthy helping of rich flavor that can only be served as "Texas Style!" The Texas Brass Band was founded in 2008 by trained musician, arranger, trombonist, and 3-time Grammy Award nominee, William Thomas II: son of five-time Grammy nominated national recording artist, the brains behind the internationally recognized Summer Jazz Workshop, and founder of the Houston International Jazz Festival. The band holds true to its Texas style and consists of a trumpet section (4 trumpeters), a trombone section (4 trombonists), one sousaphonist/tubist, a drummer and a percussionist, totaling eleven members.

Watch a video of Texas Brass Band here.

Tricia Fox, Core Artist and Music Doing Good with Lyrics Program Director, graduated from Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado with a Bachelor of Arts in Music, where she produced and directed a concert for her senior thesis benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Lost Lake Run, Inc. Tricia began working with Music Doing Good in 2010 as a guest performer and joined the Music Doing Good staff as a full time employee in 2012. Tricia joins her exceptional talent as a performer and songwriter with her rare ability to listen empathetically to capture and preserve the valuable experiences and wisdom of our community through songwriting. Since 2010, Tricia has also worked as a songwriter with Purple Songs Can Fly, a part of the “Arts in Medicine Program” at Texas Children’s Cancer Center. As a professional musician, she has toured the country as a solo singer songwriter and with her band, Edmund Evans, having played countless shows from Boston to Austin.

  Since late 2010, The Wheel Workers’ crisp sound and intelligent lyrics have earned them growing recognition in Houston’s active indie rock scene. Signing to ZenHill Records in late 2011 just before the national release of their debut album Unite, The Wheel Workers enjoyed substantial success, earning airplay on nearly 140 stations across the US and charting on several CMJ reporting stations. The Wheel Workers have played regularly around Texas, performing at SXSW in Austin, enjoying the honor of playing on the same stage as The Flaming Lips at Free Press Summerfest in Houston, and opening for national touring acts such as Miniature Tigers, Elf Power and The Coathangers. The band is currently promoting its second full-length album, Past to Present, recorded at SugarHill Studios with producer Dan Workman and released by ZenHill Records. Looking towards a busy 2013, The Wheel Workers will be touring throughout the summer to support the release of Past to Present.

  Windsor Village United Methodist Church Mass Choir has actively carried out its mission of a caring, cutting edge Christian community for 30 years. Under the leadership of Senior Pastor Kirbyjon H. Caldwell since 1982, the church’s membership exceeds 17,000, up from an original 25 members. WVUMC has the largest membership and largest weekly attendance of any church in United Methodism and remains one of the fastest growing churches in the country.

Located within a historically underserved and underdeveloped area of Southwest Houston, Windsor Village acts on its commitment to take the sanctuary to the streets through its 75 ministries and growth opportunities that serve the community seven days a week. Seven non-profit organizations have been birthed out of the church’s ministry efforts. Those organizations operate independently and autonomously to address the unmet needs of the area.

Kathy Taylor has served as Minister of Music for over 20 years. Her profile in the gospel community has been built by far more than her role at Windsor Village. She is an award-winning singer who has performed for royalty and presidents and tours nationally, both as a soloist and with her long-running group, Kathy Taylor and Favor. "Spirit of a Grateful People" is her sixth recorded album and the second release for the Windsor Village Mass Choir.